Insomnia is no joke. It’s sleepless nights followed by dragging yourself out of bed and chugging coffee just to get through the day hiding your exhaustion. Sound familiar?
At least, that’s what it felt like for me and it was unsustainable. For me, insomnia eventually led to falling asleep driving twice, and a serious wake-up call to finally take my insomnia seriously.
After trying every remedy I could find online (melatonin, cutting caffeine/sugar, white noise), a doctor prescribed sleeping pills for me and after 2 weeks of working great, they stopped working altogether. The doctor said that people can build up a tolerance to sleeping pills and recommended I stop taking the pills for a couple of weeks.
No thanks! You know what’s also unsustainable? Alternating between sleeping good and not sleeping a wink every 2 weeks. So I turned to cannabis and it consistently helps me sleep.
The Science Behind Cannabis and Sleep
Cannabis can have a relaxing and sedative effect which is why it helps with sleep. A recent study found that “cannabis shortens the time it takes to fall asleep, both for people with sleep problems and people who fall asleep without trouble.” AKA You and Me! I have trouble falling asleep and staying asleep *smh* but you don’t have to be on team insomnia to get good sleep.
Of the cannabinoids, THC is the one that helps induce sleep. While CBD is great for dealing with pain that could be preventing your body from resting, the euphoric effects from THC are what helps fight insomnia.
A 2008 study found that THC reduces the amount of REM sleep you get so you stay in a ‘deep sleep’ state longer. While that is good for reducing dreams and restoration, REM sleep is beneficial for cognitive function and your immune system so we need to be careful with long-term use.
Different Ways to Get Sleep
I love infused honey. I personally love combining infused CBD honey, like this one from Juju Royale (founded by one of Bob Marley’s kids!), with my evening smoke. In addition to cannabis, I do enjoy a cup of hot lavender chamomile tea to unwind after a long day before getting in bed. I typically add some CBD honey in place of regular honey, which also helps with sleep.
You can also make your own THC infused honey in a crockpot to add to your drink of choice if you want to go the DIY route! I followed this recipe and it turned out great.
CBD Loose Tea from Twin Flame Tea Co.
A warm cup of tea is like a warm hug and when you add weed? It’s like a warm tingly hug. I went over the magic of adding both THC and CBD to your cannabis toolkit in this blog post so this loose CBD tea pairs well with a joint.
I personally love the You-Need-To-Calm-Down Chamomile Peppermint Hemp-Infused Tea because besides it being delicious, it helps me relax after a stressful day. It is a caffeine-free herbal tea blend that uses organic ingredients and CBD! A recipe for relaxation.
The main way I use weed to get sleep is by smoking the buds, usually via my water bong. While THC is the main cannabinoid that helps with sleep the great debate is whether indica or sativa strains are better for helping with sleep.
After deciding to turn to cannabis to treat my sleep problems, my first trip from the dispensary was somewhat unsuccessful. I talked to the budtender about wanting something that will help me with sleep and he suggested a few indica and hybrid strains that were good for beginners because “that’s what we recommend for most people.”
My first-night trying weed to smoke lead to me feeling SUPER relaxed in my body but my mind was still going. After a few more nights, I decided to try one of the sativa strains I’d also purchased for day time use, and WOW! That was it. Sativa strains turn my thoughts to ‘white noise’ when I’m lying in bed and that’s what I needed to sleep.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the reason that I couldn’t sleep was that I couldn’t turn my thoughts off, not because I couldn’t relax my body. That’s why the indica strain didn’t work for me. So the first thing you’ll want to think about is WHY you can’t sleep and go from there.
Cannabis affects everyone differently so it’s important to familiarize yourself with how to select strains and different ways to consume it. I put together this FREE GUIDE that goes in detail on the various ways to use cannabis, what tools you need to get started, and other important information about selecting strains.
There are a ton of ways to consume cannabis so you can absolutely substitute smoking THC for tinctures, edibles, etc.
Other Sleep Aids that Work
Outside of cannabis, I have found a couple of methods that help me get some sleep when I need an un-weed related route:
Sleep Stories & Meditations
These are like adult bedtime stories and are a great way to focus your racing mind. I love to use the Calm App and Shine.
White Noise Machines
When I’m traveling, I like to take my SNOOZ white noise machine because it is small, portable, and has high-quality sound. There’s also an app that you can use to control it. I even keep it on my nightstand when I’m home and it helps to drown out the noise.
Sleep is vital to self-care. Rest is vital to self-care.
“When I’m tired, I rest. I say, ‘I can’t be a superwoman today.'”-Jada Pinkett Smith
In a recent blog post, I wrote about how I’ve finally become a morning person thanks to bribing myself with cannabis and it goes deeper than that. We can’t get up early and have a productive day if we are tired from not getting enough sleep. It is so much easier to have a productive day when we’re well-rested.
When you’re wearing a lot of hats aka being superwoman, the last battle you need to be fighting is the effects of sleep deprivation.
Cannabis helps me to get consistent sleep and I am forever grateful for that. I don’t think I truly appreciated the value of consistent sleep until I started getting it.
Help someone out in the comments below! List your number 1 sleep tip, cannabis related or not!